With an estimated 81 percent of travelers finding travel experiences with local food helps them better understand the culture of a chosen destination, it’s no surprise immersive food and drink experiences expect to rise over the next few years.
Europe continues to draw international travelers thanks to its great foodie destinations, but the hardest part of planning a foodie trip to Europe is narrowing down exactly where to go. Cycling for Softies, a specialist holiday provider, highlighted some of the most immersive food and drink experiences in Europe to help make your choices a little easier.
Here are five great immersive foodie experiences throughout Europe:
This annual, two-day event at the end of July brings visitors on a culinary journey through France’s Champagne region. On this trip, venture through vineyards, visit stunning Champagne houses and taste wine from some of the world’s best Champagne wineries. Expect wine tastings to be accompanied by great music, tasty food and insight from experienced Champagne producers.
The craft beer industry continues to grow in the United Kingdom, and those who appreciate a refreshing, cold pint should allocate time to visit The Cotswolds, a region spanning several counties. This area is also home to many up-and-coming, traditional and dynamic craft microbreweries. Each spot showcases the best ales and beers in the country. Be sure to head to Cotswold Brewing Company, one of the first (and one of the largest) microbreweries in the United Kingdom. A tour of this family-run establishment includes exploring different varieties of ales and beers, as well as learning about the country’s thriving microbrewery scene. The tour also lets you taste some of their best products.
A delicacy known worldwide, the truffle holds great power in the culinary world. Italy, home to the largest number of truffles in Europe, invites travelers to venture through Umbria to experience the region’s age-old tradition of hunting and harvesting truffles. Hunt for truffles alongside specially trained truffle-hunting dogs in the Umbrian countryside. Some tours even offer the chance to savor some of the local crops in a specially made lunch or dinner, with the prized truffle as the main feature.
Boasting 385,000 vines across 93 hectares, Rathfinney, located in the picturesque South Downs countryside, offers tours and tastings year-round. This estate predominately grows grape varieties for Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, but also draws visitors thanks to the delicious and crisp English sparkling wines. For the most immersive experience at this estate, stay at the award-winning bed and breakfast at The Flint Barns, a series of restored, historic buildings with elegant furnishings.
Within the hills of Umbria lies the walled castle of the 14th-century Montone, where foodies can cook alongside Italy’s most renowned chefs. A cooking session here entails using local and regional Italian ingredients, learning about regional cuisine and concocting some of the tastiest dishes ever, all with chef Giancarlo Polito. Take home the techniques learned from Polito to try your own hand at Italian dishes.
A perfect New England holiday season awaits in Central Massachusetts. West of Boston, the state offers plenty of small-town holiday charm and events.
Experience the life-changing destination of Greece by exploring its island gems in the Ionian Sea. Scattered off the western coastline of Central Greece, to the south of Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands are an island group comprising large and small islands.
For travelers looking for a dessert escape this holiday season, Oasis at Death Valley awaits. Ancient waters bubble up from the ground to support an entire ecosystem at Oasis at Death Valley, a secluded resort tucked into the dramatic desert setting off Death Valley National Park.
Traveling to or near Williamsburg, Virginia, this holiday season? The destination offers plenty of events and festivities blending early American history with holiday cheer.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips.
If you want to get away to the Caribbean this winter from the frosty Northeast, JetBlue has you covered, with recently launched flights from New York City (JFK) to St. Kitts and Nevis (SKB). The flights are now offered Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The destination becomes the 28th the airline services from John F. Kennedy International Airport.